A/N: Just a quick, fun little bit of Kristanna not-quite-smut in an attempt to clear some lingering writer's block. No real spoilers, just playful banter and Kristoff and Anna's weird attempts to get used to living life side-by-side. Enjoy!
Kristoff and Anna's life together becomes one of compromise approximately five minutes after "happily ever".
No, Anna cannot travel into the mountains to "see what harvesting is like, it won't be like last time, I promise," because last time had seen her fall into the lake and Kristoff to dive in after her in a panic, nearly killing them both as they were temporarily, for one heart-stopping moment, trapped beneath the ice.
(Then when they'd finally made it out, they'd clutched each other, wet and cold and shivering, yelling about whose fault it was that they'd nearly died as they cried and kissed and clung and the rest of the harvesters stared at them like they were insane.)
So no, Anna cannot go harvesting.
Nor can Kristoff sleep in the barn instead of the castle, no matter how much he insists that he'll be more comfortable, it's much quieter, he's really not the castle type anyway, because he makes it all of two nights before Anna appears in the barn, throws a bedroll into the hay beside him, flops down, and falls asleep.
By the third morning Anna shows up for breakfast disheveled, with hay in her hair, and extremely scandalous gossip on the lips of the servants, he very begrudgingly moves into one of the spare rooms in the castle — but only after he tries to retire to the barn the next night and finds it completely frozen over.
(Elsa looks far too innocent at breakfast the next morning, and Anna far too pleased.)
But life in the castle — which, he realizes, is in effect living with Anna — isn't too bad. The bed in Kristoff's room is very large and exceedingly comfortable, there's always enough food in the pantry (and plenty of carrots), and most of the servants think he's odd enough to leave him alone, which is fine by him.
It does, however, bring with it a whole new set of compromises.
Kristoff cannot (and will not) be caught dead in formal wear, but he will wash before meals so he doesn't smell like Sven. Much.
Anna cannot burst into Kristoff's room without knocking, as the first time she'd done so had been extremely awkward for the both of them, and Anna had blushed and avoided his eyes at dinner while Kristoff rolled his eyes and told her that she was acting like she'd never seen a naked man before and everyone takes baths naked and it wasn't his fault if she had a thing about closed doors, and they'd both blushed fiercely when they realized that Elsa was staring at them from the head of the table, eyes wide, fork frozen in place by her mouth.
So Anna has to knock first.
Many of their compromises are just subtle nuances, the rigmarole of daily life and the odd annoyances that come with sharing a living space.
Kristoff cannot drink milk directly from the jug and leave it on the counter.
Anna cannot tie ribbons to Sven's harness to make him look "cute".
Kristoff cannot pick his nose at the dinner table just to irritate Anna.
Anna cannot put her feet up on the sled just to irritate Kristoff.
As the days turn to weeks, weeks to months, as the days grow shorter and the future stretches out before them, promising and bright, the compromises begin to thread their way ever more into their lives, stitching them even more tightly together until they become settled routine, comfortable, familiar, and just the slightest bit warmer.
Kristoff will kiss Anna every morning before he heads off to the mountains.
Anna will be waiting for him when he returns.
Kristoff is allowed — and, in fact, encouraged — to kiss her again when he does.
(Anna does not have to hug him if his back is still sweaty from work.)
On and on they go, more and more understood even as the words remain unspoken.
Kristoff can run his fingers along her spine as he kisses her.
Anna can thread her fingers into his hair and pull him down to her.
(They both can deepen and linger and touch as they see fit.)
Their life continues, as a series of subtle and not-so-subtle compromises, meals and royal functions and whose turn it is to collect the laundry from the maids and whose turn it is to bring the carrots out to Sven. A word here, a word there, stray thoughts and open communication as their lives continue to intertwine ever more tightly, as they draw closer together and the last spaces between them disappear.
There's only one compromise they've never had to discuss.
Kristoff is allowed to be very careful, because Anna is so very small beneath him and his hands span her waist so easily and he is terrified that he will break her somehow.
Anna is allowed to be rough, open, wild, and so very desperate to be touched.
They'd learned this, understood this together, one night when she'd broken the rule about knocking, sprawled atop him on his bed and kissed him, soft but insistent, and he'd kissed her back, curving her close to him, and she'd stroked his hair with one trembling hand as she slid his hand inside the bodice of her nightgown with the other.
Kristoff is always allowed to ask if she's okay, if she's sure.
Anna is allowed absolutely everything else. Everything she wants.
If she wants to whimper and plead and tug at his hair as he suckles at her pulse point, draw his head down to her breasts, between her legs.
If she wants to clutch at his shoulders, his hips, his back, and beg him to go faster, harder.
If she wants to flip him over and rise above him before sinking down, head thrown back, wild and windblown, and clutch his hand tightly as she rides him.
If she wants to take him into her hands, her mouth, eyes silver-bright and shining with love.
Anything Anna wants is always hers. Just like he is.
But Kristoff is allowed to clutch her just as tightly, kiss her just as fiercely, cry out and tug at her hair and touch her, anywhere, everywhere.
He is allowed to hold her tight to him when she comes, and she him.
They never have to compromise the soft, tired touches afterwards, the sweat-slicked embrace, the gentle kisses and whispered words of love.
But Anna does have to sleep in her own room.
And Kristoff has to kiss her goodnight.
(He is allowed to linger.)
They both have to be well-scrubbed, bright-eyed, and free of any conspicuous marks when they come down to breakfast in the morning, no sign of anything untoward having conspired between them.
The compromise works for awhile, tried and true, until one balmy summer morning as they sit side-by-side at the breakfast table, their hands intertwined beneath the tabletop, secretive smiles playing at their lips.
Gerda is tired as she serves them, and nearly drops the pitcher of juice she begins to pour into Elsa's glass.
"My apologies, milady," she says, stifling a yawn.
"Didn't you sleep well, Gerda?" Elsa asks, eyes soft with concern.
"Hardly a wink, milady. Not with that terrible storm we had last night."
"Storm?" Elsa furrows her brow.
"Didn't you hear it? Sounded like the world was fit to end. Kai's out in the fields surveying the damage — likely have to have a few hands out repairing the fences and pens later today."
"Hm," Elsa says, sipping from her goblet. "I didn't hear a thing, but then, I never do." She shrugs. "I had to commission the market candlemaker for a pair of sturdy earplugs some weeks back. My room is in the same wing as my sister and her consort, you see."
Anna chokes on a strawberry, and Kristoff accidentally eats part of his napkin as they both stare at her, wide-eyed, horrified.
Elsa's eyes are calm and tranquil, her lips flashing a hint of a smile as she tips her goblet a fraction in their direction.
"Compromise," she says simply.